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  • Writer's pictureDr. Judy

Create Win-Wins and Deeper Connections in All Your Relationships!

In honor of the month of love and care (for ALL your relationships), check out my relationship toolkit!

On my podcast, I talked about applying the Five Love Languages to improve relationships of all kids (romantic, family, friends, and colleagues).

The real value of the Five Love Languages as a relationship tool is using the combination of attentiveness + behavioral change. It’s less about a focus on yourself, but more about honoring and respecting others’ preferences to improve the quality of your relationships. And when you do this, others will respond in kind, resulting in a win-win!

Here are my top tips!

1. Be inquisitive, take notes, then act. Ask questions about what they like, their values, their experiences, notice what lights them up and do similar for them.

2. Leave pride at the door and try to understand others’ drives. Next time when you are tempted to act out of ego or defensiveness, ask yourself, “what might drive this person to do or say this?” Put yourself in their shoes and try to think like them so that you can problem solve effectively.

3. Use bridging statements instead of universal labels. Deemphasize the problem of the person (You are lazy!) and focus on the issue in conflict (the dishes aren’t getting done) – then bring in “we” language to bridge the gap and invite brainstorming as a team (what should we do about it)?

4. Ask for feedback. Don’t be shy to ask them if they liked something you did! That’s the only way you’ll know how better to tailor your actions the next time. Ask directly for constructive feedback too - even though no one likes to hear criticisms of themselves, once you get past that, your relationship deepens because you understand a lot more about what you can do better to create better outcomes.

5. Be true to yourself. Modifying your behaviors is not about changing who you are, it simply conveys respect, thoughtfulness, and caring for someone else’s traits and preferences. Be authentic but flexible in your relationships and make room for differences. Research shows high openness to new experiences and lower neuroticism and rigidity are strong predictors for great relationships and deeper social connections.

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